2000 G-8 Summit
Kyushu-Okinawa, Japan July 17 - 24, 2000

BREDL's Lou Zeller was in Okinawa as a participant at the NGO Center which was organized by the Okinawa Environmental Network with the cooperation of the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

The G-8 members include Japan, the United States, France, Russia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy.

The three day G-8 summit brought together Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, who chaired the meeting, U.S. President Bill Clinton, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, French President Jacques Chirac, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Their agenda included nuclear nonproliferation, arms control and the reduction of the number of weapons in circulation.

Press Release: July 22, 2000

Russian and American NGOs Blast G-8 Secrecy. Plutonium Plans are a Danger to All Nations.


NGOs' Letter to Heads of States

July 3, 2000 - Letter to Heads of State of Nations of the G-8 From Non-governmental Organizations Opposing Plutonium Fuel

Reports from the G-8 Summit


Self-reliance of Local Districts and Systems of Sustainable Development in the Age of Globalization

Lou Zeller, July 18, 2000 Naha City, Okinawa

"By the end of the 20th Century rapid technological progress, especially in transportation and communication, facilitated world-wide multilateral cultural exchange. In the 21st Century this process has taken the form of cultural globalization. In this context we as global citizens must take up the responsibility to set the rules of globalization." -Agenda of The People’s Summit in Okinawa, July 18, 2000

Today the People’s Summit in Okinawa set forth a statement of principles and promised to take their message to top levels of the Japanese government. TOES/Japan, The Other Economic Summit, brought together experts on social empowerment, international trade, information technology, and self-reliance for a one-day symposium. They timed the meeting to precede the G-8 Summit.

Dr. Takashi Iwami, representing TOES/Japan, summarized the statement from the group to the Foreign Minister of Japan to be delivered on July 21 during the Group of Eight nations Summit. Dr. Iwami advocated self-determination for all people and said, "The decision not only belongs to the G-8, but to grassroots people participating north and south, east and west to discuss and decide the future of the world."

A speaker at the TOES symposium, Sudhin K. Mukhopadhyay of India, told the assembly, "Information technology (IT) has been christened as the third Industrial Revolution. It creates new jobs while displacing many old ones. IT largely eliminates the significance of specific global locations. This might help changes in the balance of commercial power in the world and blur the traditional north-south divide. On the other hand, the IT revolution tends to create new forms of inequality through the digital divide between those with access to IT and others without."

Tatsuaki Oshiro, businessman and Japanese Representative of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, advocated a massive, rapid switch from fossil-fuel to clean energy. Mr. Oshiro alerted the attendees to the human consequences of global warming posed by imminent threat of an 18 foot rise in ocean levels which would wipe out coastal cities around the world including his home in Okinawa.

John Papworth, Episcopalian minister and editor of the international journal Fourth World Review warned the assembly of a world-wide crisis and sounded a call for radical change. Mr. Papworth said, "It is a crisis not only of militarism and greed-dominated economics, it is a crisis of massive environmental hooliganism, of a prodigious waste of finite resources, of the inequality of human social structure, and of human culture and morality. In short, it is a crisis of human existence." He drew upon the wisdom of Gandhi who said that we cannot have morality without community. Papworth said, "If we want to do justice to this beautiful plant, let us work with our neighbors to create a world which mirrors the natural world. We can do it with people power. I am not seeking here to give you a blueprint, rather am I urging you to create your own blueprint for your own empowered community with your neighbors whilst there is still time."

The symposium’s comprehensive agenda supported the strict implementation of the resolutions of the 1997 Kyoto Conference of Climate Change which called for reductions in greenhouse gases (CO2) and other pollutants. The symposium statements supported other anti-pollution measures including a carbon-energy tax and renewable energy substitutes for fossil-fuel.

Meeting of a coalition of environmental and human rights groups

BREDL video clip BREDL video clip. Dancers at environmental coalition meeting.
Play video clip.

From Lou: Tats Oshiro took me to a meeting tonight of a coalition of environmental and human rights groups in Okinawa.  The room was filled with hundreds of supporters of the Citizens Peace Coalition.  They had speakers, food, drink, and musical entertainment.  A lot of groups working on environmental issues from yesterdays symposium were there, too.  Okinawa Environmental Network was there (they are the local non-governmental organization organizing the NGO Center this weekend).

People of Okinawa request international encouragement and coalition to support their demands for the removal of US military bases from Okinawa. Environmental degradation, human rights abuses, and other forms of exploitation are the reasons for  this campaign.  Residents report contamination from dangerous substances including CS gas, insecticides, PCB, and waste oil.  To find out more, visit the Citizens Peace Coalition website at   Also, you may send a message to CPC Co-chairman Chikashi Kinjo at the following email address

News from the Okinawa G8 Summit July 23, 2000

PLUTONIUM DISPOSAL REMAINS STICKY ISSUE - The G8 nations failed to finalize the financial assistance agreement for plutonium fuel which they had hoped to reach in Okinawa.  Rumors of a done-deal had circulated Washington for weeks.  The communique issued today postponed until next year an arrangement to finance $2 billion for new plutonium fuel facilities.    In their Communique Okinawa 2000 issued at the close of their Summit in Okinawa, they stated:  "Our goal for the next Summit is to develop an international financing plan for plutonium management and disposition based on a detailed project plan, and a multilateral framework to coordinate this cooperation.  We will expand our cooperation to other interested countries in order to gain the widest possible support international support, and will explore the potential for both public and private funding."  

See Sunday, July 23 article in the Daily Yomiuri (included below)

  The Non-governmental organizations worked long hours to prepare their own statement which was delivered to a packed press conference in Nago, Okinawa. NGOs Joint Declaration To the G8 Summit At the closing of the Kyushyu-Okinawa Summit, we the NGOs who gathered in Okinawa declare the following priorities for peace, environment, health, welfare, and human rights:

1. We call for peace and security.  We call for solution of all conflicts through dialogue transcending borders, race, and religion.  We call for an end to the construction of military bases on foreign soil, and for the early removal of such military bases existing now.

2. We call for the G8 leaders to implement immediately all the commitments to international conventions and summits that each country has ratified related to poverty, such as prevalence of health, hospitality, and primary education.  We further call for reform in the structure of unfair international economy causing poverty.  

3. We call for G7 leaders to cancel all the illigitimate and unpayable debt, that which cannot be serviced without sacrificing the health, education and even lives of impoverished people.  

4. We call for the G8 leaders to set legal regulations in regards to genetically modified crops and chemical substances such as persistant organic pollutants and endocrine disrupters, to ensure public safety. (the precautionary principle)  

5. We call for the G-8 leaders setting forth o the fundamental principle that environment and health must take precedence over economic activity.  We call for the G8 countries to take initiative in dealing with climate change, desturction of the ozone layer, deforestation, illegal forest cutting, desertification, air pollution, and destruction of biodiversity.  Particularly, we call for them to set appropriate regulations concernign liberalization of trade that causes monopoly of resources, environmental destruction, and invasion of human rights by richest countries.

6. We call for the G8 leaders to give us an opportunity to communicate with them directly and on an equal basis.

We, the NGOs who gathered in Okinawa, announce to the world that we will strengthen and spread our network which prioritizes peace, environment, health, welfare, human rights, and the value of human life. 

23 July 2000

Kiko Network
WWF Japan
International Society for Mangrove Systems
Network "Earth Village"
Ota Peace Research Institute
The Earth Environment Resusitate Actual Practice Association
Jubilee 2000 Japan Executive Committee
Dugong Network Okinawa
San Francisco Bay Area Okinawa Peace Network
Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League
Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation
People's Network Against Construction and Strengthening of Military Base
Save the Dugong Foundation
Okinawa Environmental NGO Network
No to Heliport Association of 10 Districts north of Futami
The Taxpayers Network of Japan
Okinawa International Forum for People's Security  

Appeals of the NGOs

In response to the G8 Summit, NGOs that gathered in the NGO Center Nago on the occasion of Kyushyu-Okinawa G8 Summit added individual appeals to the Joint Declaration.  This is the appeal submitted by BREDL and approved by the NGOs:

Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League

We demand that the G8 oppose the use of plutonium fuel in nuclear powered civilian electric generating reactors because:

1) The use of plutonium would employ one of the most toxic substances on earth to generate electricity.  Plutonium reduces safety and increases nuclear proliferation risks.   

2) Democratic rights would be curtailed because the secrecy and defense measures which the military uses would have to be employed by every electric company transporting plutonium.  

3) The toxic legacy of the Cold War should not be transmuted into a plutonium-fueled economy.

As an alternative, we demand that the G8 support immobilizing plutonium in glass logs to isolate it from the environment.  Preventing the transport of plutonium to scores of nuclear reactors would reduce the danger and return us to a more sensible nuclear non-proliferation policy.   The G8 must not allow plutonium fuel to be the power source of the 21st Century.   Delivered before the NGO Joint Declaration Assembly in Okinawa, Japan on July 23, 2000.

(photo:  Lou Zeller, Vladimir Mikheev, and Tatsuaki Oshiro (not shown) deliver joint appeal on plutonium at the NGO press conference in Okinawa, Sunday, July 23, 2000)

(photo: Tatsuaki Oshiro, Japanese Representative of BREDL, participating in the NGO Joint Declaration committee's final meeting.  Mr. Oshiro is a native of Okinawa.)

Plutonium disposal remains sticky issue

Yomiuri Shimbun

Okinawa -- Leaders of the Group of Eight have agreed to avoid reference in the G-8 summit declaration to any specific program to assist Russia in the processing of the huge amounts of plutonium from the dismantling of its nuclear weapons, The Yomiuri Shimbun learned Saturday.

G-8 will instead simply declare that it will continue with international cooperation to raise 2 billion dollars, which is the amount needed to process the plutonium, by the time of next year's summit in Genoa, Italy, government sources said.

The declaration is to be adopted Sunday.

Though Japan and the United States had tried to push for an international assistance program for Russia during the summit meeting, the issue will be carried forward to the next G-8 summit because European countries still were unable to agree on it, according to the sources.

The huge amount of high-grade plutonium is believed to come from dismantling under the START-1 strategic arms treaty between the United States and the former Soviet Union.

U.S. and Russian leaders agreed in June to each destroy 34 tons of plutonium.

Although no particular assistance program materialized during the summit, G-8 plans to come up with a plan to expedite plutonium processing to more than 2 tons per year by 2007. G-8 has been studying measures to use the plutonium to generate nuclear power or render it useless for installation in weapons by mixing it with high-level nuclear waste.

Russia is interested in using plutonium for fuel, but it cannot develop the technology by itself due to financial difficulties, the sources also said.

Japan is participating in an experimental project to burn plutonium at a fast reactor in Russia. It is planning to help Russia modify the reactor so that more than a ton of plutonium per year can be burned there, the sources said.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress has already approved 200 million dollars in assistance for processing Russian plutonium. The same amount of assistance is reportedly expected next fiscal year as well.

In Europe, France and Germany have been discussing a plan to transfer a nuclear fuel processing plant in Germany to Russia. Construction of the plant was suspended shortly before its completion.

However, the plan was scrapped before the Okinawa summit because the opposition to nonmilitary use of plutonium has been gaining influence in Germany, where the government and the electric power industry agreed to stop generating nuclear power, according to the source.